When the emotions are positive – happiness, excitement, pride – it’s easy to get carried along with the emotion and often this is a great motivator which drives us to be more productive. However, if your colleagues are in a negative or fragile emotional state, it can have a detrimental effect on your own work and the performance of the rest of the team.
This article from Psychcentral outlines six ways for you to ensure that you acknowledge, rather than absorb, the feelings and emotions of those around you. It includes recognising and labelling what you are feeling so that you can make rational rather than emotional decisions and consciously passing back the feelings to your colleague, leaving you emotionally free to focus on your own goals.
If you do find yourself getting wrapped up in the emotions of those around you, we want you to ask yourself the following questions:
Is this feeling mine?Once you have acknowledged the emotion you are dealing with, you need to ask yourself, honestly, whether you have a reason to own it as your own. If the fear, anger, anxiety is yours, you can then get to the bottom of what is causing it – only when you have established why you are feeling that way can you take the steps necessary to get through it. Accept ownership, then deal with the cause.
Does distance help?Often, absorbed feelings lessen once you have gained some physical distance from the suspected source. When you start to feel overcome with emotion, but are not sure why, move yourself into another office or take a short walk around the block. Does the feeling remain? If yes, you can accept the feeling as your own and deal with it. If distance brings you some relief, chances are the feeling belongs to someone else and it’s just rubbing off on you.
Am I still centred?Stress and negative emotions can often be felt in your stomach, rather than your head. When you feel the stress and negativity starts to build, we want you to take a few moments to concentrate on your breathing. Exhale your stress and inhale only calm. This will quickly make you feel better and able to identify your true feelings.
Can I find a positive?If you find yourself getting bogged down with a colleague’s emotional state, seek out for positive influence from other people around you. Call a friend or family member who is known for their positivity and use their emotions to help you find the positivity you need. Hope, faith and optimism are contagious – use it to help prevent absorption of the negative feelings of your team mates.
In a close knit team it can be hard not to take the knocks felt by those around us, but we hope that by acknowledging and recognising when this happens, you can easily get your emotions back on track and remain empathic towards your colleagues, but not be led by what they are feeling.